Something truly horrific

Something awful happened to me whilst I was on holiday last week.

I mean, something truly horrific.

Let’s set the scene.

There’s a warm blue pool with a large cave bar and a curling water slide. All around the edge of the pool are loungers filled with dozing or reading sunbathers. Over to my right is a loud speaker blasting out tunes while enthusiastic entertainment staff bounce up and down on the poolside, clapping their hands over their heads and encouraging the rum filled tourists to compete in press-up and boogie competition.

The pool directly in front of me is full of laughing toddlers covered in thick white sunblock, busily bobbing up and down in swim jackets and armbands, concentrating on pouring water from one cup to another or waving water pistols in the air with glee.

Towards the deeper end on my right the bronzed and tattooed twenty to thirty somethings are playing drinking games involving an inflatable, a ping pong ball and a lot of paper cups.

To my left the over fifties are watching the competition whilst staying back from the noise of the speakers, bodies more saggy and skin displaying a more ingrained brown tan.

That’s when I realised. I’m in the middle. Youth to the right, kids to the front and the elderly to my left. I’m sitting directly in the centre. I am no longer a youth, I’m not quite elderly.

I’m . . .

Good god, I can’t bring myself to write it.

I’m . . . ALMOST middle aged.


To try to stave off the shock and sudden feeling of nausea that washed over me like a cold wave from the Atlantic Ocean, I went to the cave bar in search of medicinal rum, Sackgirl propping me up from the side – I’d come over all faint!

As we walked into the bar a twenty something Canadian, all shiny teeth, toned muscle and stylish hair, turned round to Sackgirl and joked,

“Hey, you’re too young to be in here, honey.”

Seizing my moment I jumped in and joked back,

“Why yes, yes I am!”

Did I imagine the flash of pity or embarrassment that crossed his face before he smiled?

“Ah”, he twanged in his Canadian accent.

“I admire your confidence”.

Cave Bar, Cuba

Cave Bar, Cuba

I mentioned in a previous post that I didn’t handle my birthday too well this year. I struggled with 26, but was fine with 30. Now I am struggling with 36.

I don’t feel old. But I did notice a tendency to sensibly stop drinking rum in the sun before I got heat stroke and fell in the pool this year. And I found talking about kids with the other thirty to forty somethings more interesting than discussing how much booze I can handle with the youngsters.

Plus, I keep referring to them as youngsters.

I guess I have to face the fact I’m not in my twenties anymore. But I’m going to sulk about it.

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Something truly horrific — 28 Comments

  1. 36?!?! Honey, you won’t be middle-aged until at least 45. And if you start using sunscreen now, with a great heaping, helping dose of denial you will probably be able to push that to 50.

    I so rarely get the chance to play the part of the older, but wiser woman, but your post has provided me with a once in a lifetime opportunity, that I expect to have over and over again the older and older I get.

    The late 30s are sort of hard. I don’t know why, but they are. But your 40s are coming. Your 40s will be your best decade EVER! Trust me on this. When those ovaries really start gasping their last breath they pump out the phermones and hormones like nobody’s business. You have so much to look forward to. So much.

    • Wow – thank you so much for your reply. You make the 40’s sound great, I’m almost looking forward to them now. 30’s are hard – maybe because that’s when we are doing the family bit mainly, heaping on the responsibility, the career and the tiredness in one go.

  2. I can relate… but I just turned 49! Agism is alive and well and WORSE than it was when I was your age. Whenever I feel sorry for myself about how old I’m getting I think about the boy I knew in high school who died tragically at 18. He didn’t see 20. As they say–aging is a privilege not all get to experience. Embrace it. It’s part of life 🙂

    • That is a very good point. My neighbour’s boy died of cancer at 17 – I was about 14 at the time. Everything I have done since then is a bonus.

  3. I’m with Chloe — my 40s was the best decade ever. At 51, I’m determined to make that true for the coming decade as well.

  4. I completely echo what Chloe says up there in the comments! Late thirties were a bit tough, but I remember waking up on my fortieth birthday, looking in the mirror, and loving what I saw. I was overwhelmed by this great sense of confidence and calm and happiness. It was completely unexpected!

    I’m 48 now, I think I look better/fitter/happier than I did 10 years ago. And yes, just as Chloe said, our evolvoing bodies have lots of really fun, positive surprises in store for us! Don’t fear what lies ahead, embrace it instead – it can be a really great ride!

  5. I don’t know what age you are calling middle aged, but I think I am there or past it. I will go with I am there as I don’t want to be past it quite yet.

    • Do you think it’s different for men and women? I don’t know, but Mr G is 10 years older than me and he seems a little unhappy about the big 50.

  6. I am months away from 40 and in total denial. For my 30th birthday I refused to accept it and went into hiding for a few days. I don’t feel like I look and act like I’m middle aged but then I see all the young mums at the school gate and the young whipper snappers serving me a drink at the pub and realise it’s not them who are under age, it’s me who is slowly sliding down that slippery slope. SOB

    • LOL. I passed a young kid standing by a crashed car and thought “Silly little bugger was probably driving too fast”, then I wondered why he was in fancy dress as a policeman – and then it dawned on me – the police look like babies.

  7. I’m with Chloe and the girls. My 4th Decade was awesome. I finally came into my own. But now that I’m in my 5th decade I am beginning to think this is the best decade. I am really rockin’ and rollin’. I love life. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve struggled and done a lot of inner work navigating this midlife transition, but I have come to realize we live in a wonderful time in history where we can enjoy our second adulthood.

    • It’s a good age to be. I bet you are a really active 73 year old though. My dad sits about all day and is visibly crumbling – I think that’s the key!

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